We’re not just entering online shopping season but online shopping scam season.
Last year, people in the United States clicked and bought nearly $94 billion worth of goods during the holidays. Experts are expecting up to a 20% jump this year.
Fraud attempts increased more than 30% last year, too and, experts say, the scammers just keep getting better.
“I shop online all the time, um, i would say at least once a day.”
Alison Chaltas is an executive and busy wife and mom. So, when it comes to shopping, it’s all about the click-and-buy.
She says “I do all of my clothing shopping online, um, all my gift shopping online.”
If you like to shop from your kitchen, it’ll come as no shock that e-commerce keeps growing as a percentage of overall retail sales.
Experts say scammers make it their full-time job to catch you off guard.
Sorin Mihailovici, the founder of Scam Detector says the trend is for fraudsters to take existing scams and make them harder to detect.
Watch out for fake puppy postings, links promising ‘must-have’ items for prices well below market value and be especially careful of links for too-good-to-be-true deals on social media.
“So, what scammers do, they go on, on social media platforms. They advertise great products that are real products only cheaper and they would send them to their own duplicate sites,” says Mihailovici.
The key tip while shopping: Look up at the url and make sure it starts with https.
Mihailovici says, “So, if they don't have that, if the duplicate site doesn't have the https and it only has http, you can rest assured that that's a scam.”
Also, look at reviews of a site before buying but do not depend on testimonials on the site itself.
Alison says she always does her homework before buying.
“I also kind of count on my credit card provider to be an extra level of security.”
Mihailovici also warns that the itunes gift cards scam is popping up again.
If you get an email with a receipt for a gift card you never sent and it gives you a link to cancel-- do not click on that.
And, of course, never do any shopping on public wi-fi.